Web users are going mobile
Recent studies by Google (Wired, feb. 2010) show that only a small part of the 4-5 billion mobile phone handsets in the world are smartphones. Only a small part of these users have access, for the moment, to the web via PCs mainly. Part fun, part function, Web Apps are making mobile devices smarter, encouraging new consumer behaviours and helping web users going mobile.
Innovative apps meet mobile users
LeShop.ch the leading Swiss online supermarket launched last week it’s brand new app for iPhone owners. Mobile shopping for the registered customers has never been so convenient. Customers can order when and wherever they fancy with the same comfort as they would have from their desktops. One week after the launch in the App Store, more than 2000 users have downloaded the app.
Starbucks released in September 2009 two interesting apps: myStarbucks app locates stores using the iPhone’s GPS, has a nifty drink builder & calories calculator. The second app named Starbucks Card Mobile lets you manage your balance, and — if you’re in Seattle and Silicon Valley — actually pay by scanning an on-screen bar code.
Are Apps the future of loyalty building ?
F O R C E R T A I N
Based on many positive user feedbacks of SBB Swiss Railways popular app the answer seems obvious. Door-to-door travel information, real-time information during incidents, “Take me Home” function with GPS support, buy and display tickets for public transport services are some of the innovative features of this iPhone app. Travelling by train in Switzerland has never been so easy. Just sit down & enjoy the great views ! This app could well inspire many public transport providers in cities and tourism.
As my “Loyalty & New Media” study showed in 2009, companies with loyal customers improve constantly consumer experience. Each of the three apps examined in this post improve travel, shopping & consuming experience. These apps also show loyalty improving potential for businesses like online retail, public transport and food & beverage outlets with strong brand names.
Do you think smartphone applications are changing the way brands communicate with their customers ? Do you have any particular examples you’d like to share ? I’d be glad to have your comments !